Catholic, but not Roman Catholic.
99.5% of the Catholics in Tulsa are Roman Catholic. 90% of the world’s Catholics are Roman Catholics. Is it possible to be a Catholic without being a Roman or Latin Rite Catholic? Absolutely.
Father Elias Abi-Sarkis and most of his congregation of Maronites are Lebanese Americans. Families who moved to America brought with them their customs and traditions – and a desire to continue to pray in the Maronite liturgical rites.
Saint Therese of the Child Jesus Church in Tulsa is at 81st and 169. Parishioners often participate with other local parishes. They attend Bishop Kelley and other Catholic schools. They pray the same Creed, receive the same sacraments, and look to Pope Francis for leadership. Yet, Maronites have a markedly different Sunday liturgy.
April 20 at the Church of Saint Mary
Father Elias will speak at 7:00 p.m. at the Church of Saint Mary as part of our Theology Uncorked series. He will outline the history of the Church in Lebanon, and will compare and contrast the Latin and Maronite Rites.
Ancient and Modern Persecutions of Christians
Lebanon’s neighbor to the east is Syria. Iraq is directly east of Syria. That part of the world has a tragic history of persecution of Christians. Father Elias will speak about some of Lebanon’s oppressive governments and how they relate to the plight of Christians in Iraq.
Father Elias’ talk is scheduled to support the upcoming second collection for Catholics in Iraq.